Veterinary Care Assistants (VCAs) are important members of today’s modern veterinary team…
As a VCA you would work alongside veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses to provide vital nursing care to small animal patients. Some of the tasks you would be involved with include:
- Exercising, grooming and feeding hospitalised animals (inpatients)
- Monitoring and providing supportive care to inpatients
- Preparing theatre and relevant equipment
- Cleaning and preparing accommodation for animals
- Restraining animals for treatment
- Reception duties, including advising clients on preventative health care e.g. flea treatment
- Record keeping
VCA jobs often include evening and weekend work, so the ability to work flexibly is essential. Although the hours can be long and the work physically and emotionally demanding, the rewards that come from being part of a team that work together to nurse an animal back to health, make the job extremely worthwhile and fulfilling.
The College of Animal Welfare runs the City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma for Veterinary Care Assistants programme as an online distance learning course lasting 12 months.
In order to enrol onto the course you will need to either be working, or volunteering, in a veterinary practice for a minimum of 30 hours per week. There is also the possibility of undertaking the course on a part-time basis lasting 18 months if you are working/volunteering in practice for at least 10-15 hours per week.
Funding your training
Course fees and available funding depend on each course provider, however at The College of Animal Welfare we have tried to make learning as accessible as possible through the introduction of a monthly payment scheme. Course fees can be found on the on our website.
Many VCAs go on to train as a veterinary nurse. The VCA qualification, alongside a full level 2 qualification in English and Mathematics (i.e. GCSE Grade C/4 or above/Functional Skills Level 2) will give you the academic entry requirements to progress onto a veterinary nursing course.
Other veterinary care assistants choose to remain in their role, perhaps taking additional qualifications such as the Level 2 Certificate in Assisting Veterinary Surgeons in the Monitoring of Animal Patients Under Anaesthesia and Sedation programme.
If you are thinking about training to become a veterinary care assistant but are not sure how to get started or which route is best for you, please call our Customer Advice Team on 01480 422060 / firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat. We are happy to talk you through your options and try to answer any questions you may have.